Can A Government Doctor Rant?
I was taken aback by this article written by Azman Anuar, a writer in Utusan Malaysia - Doktor cuma 'berdiam' bila rakyat kritik khidmat mereka. It was published last weekend and it resolves around the recent 'revelation' by a Deputy Minister who 'caught' a couple of off-duty Houseman in Hospital Kuala Lumpur actually ...... being off-duty, apparently that is not allowed, darn!
Anyhow, the article struck a chord since there were no official backing by the MMA concerning the incident that clearly could have brought the profession into disrepute. Kudos to the Health Minister though for uncharacteristically sticking his neck out and rebut the accusation head on.
My second observation is the amount of public sympathy around the incident, although again they are in trickles. I came across a couple of patients today that had plenty of nice things to say about Government Doctors, but unfortunately they are common people whose voice were rarely heard in the media.
I think on the whole, the public still respect us. Unfortunately in our busy live, we often forget common courtesy. We take the traffic police for granted although they were trying their hardest. How often do we give the government clerk behind the counter abuse, not to mention tips about how to work more efficient - well all of us have our opinion and these government servant are easily seen as easy target.
I have learned from early on that making a fuss against patient won't let us anywhere. People in authority are more likely tell us off if a complaint comes rather than reward us for a job well done. We government servants are always on the defensive. There are plenty of press about policeman taking grafts. I am sure there are ten times the number of those refusing bribes - but because the story was never told, nobody had the sense to find it out. Even if so, the story won't be sensational enough the become believable.
I have been shouted and abused upon by my patients or their relatives before, to the extend that even my nurses wonder if I have understood what the patient were doing to me. Most of the time it was more of the spur of the moment. When the red mist settles, they will often come and ask for apology. This is the time when I strike back and reminded them that all the staffs here have feelings and I will be very blunt with them - I may forgive but rarely forgets. The patient then tend to be doubly nice to us afterwards, maybe it is my warped sense of defense or just my nature of passive aggressiveness.
If our salary goes by the number of times we were abused, I am sure I am a rich man by now ....